Coffee House

Who will benefit from the Royal wedding?

23 November 2010

4:33 PM

23 November 2010

4:33 PM

David Cameron is playing down the effect the Royal Wedding will have on the 5th May
elections, especially the AV referendum. Fleet Street’s having none of it however. On the one hand, Benedict Brogan can already hear the pops of champagne corks in the No to AV
campaign offices. He reasons:

‘One consequence of the Royal wedding will be to make it even more difficult for AV supporters to get their campaign motoring in time for the referendum.’

On the other, Alex Barker
makes the case
for the Lib Dems’ Yes to AV campaign. He has a three point-plan, centring on low turnout following reduced campaign time. This, he thinks, will benefit those concerned about
the injustice of the current system, rather than its die-hard defenders.


The Royals will surely be the real winners. Giving the population months of smiling headlines and pleasant gossp amid the gloom is what they do best. But the wedding also concerns a profound and
mystical constitutional point. That Kate Middleton’s mother was an air-stewardess won’t (and doesn’t) matter. In fact, the bride herself is almost totally immaterial. What matters
is the future monarch, the pageantry and the symbolism. The marriage of a future king is a public rite of passage second only to his coronation; it has been so since before the Norman Conquest.

Anything that emphasises the tradition and fundamental continuity of British consitutional history must benefit the Tory party and the impulses for which it still stands in the public’s
imagination. Ironic though it is, David Cameron and Steve Hilton’s failure to eradicate Toryism, may save the Conservative Party from being marginalised by the innovation (in the classical
sense of the term) of a proportional voting system.   

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Show comments

    Maidstone Peter, might also have something to do with him stepping down from the FSB to become a Labour councillor.

  • George Holmes

    I have just been told that Stavros Flatley (Britain’s Got Talent) have been asked to perform at the Royal Wedding). Has anyone else heard this?!! Would be fantastic!!

  • Peter From Maidstone

    I keep getting annoyed that some person called Stephen Alambritis of the Federation of Small Businesss keeps popping up in the print media saying what a bad idea this wedding is. (I am a small businessman and he doesn’t speak for me).

    I did a bit of googling and it turns out that he is a member of the National Union of Journalists, and was a member of the Cabinet Office Better Regulation Task Force (1997 – 2000). He was also a Commissioner at the Disability Rights Commission from (2004 – 2007).

    So we know where he is coming from then!

    I am now contacting the FSB to complain about his biased press releases.

  • Edward McLaughlin

    David Ossitt

    No, seriously, it’s not a wish, it’s an estimation of likely responses. I am not a republican myself – I am glad we have the Royal Family.

    But the inane squawk about this wedding is just so off-putting. Nothing to do with the cost of the ceremony, I don’t begrudge that.

    It’s just this ‘just what we need to lift the nation’ bollocks that I can’t be doing with. Because for starters, it won’t, and so instead, we need to resist any diversions and concentrate on what will.

  • ollie

    No government, of any colour, would propose an abolition of the Monarchy. It would be electoral suicide on the grandest of scales.

    As for AV, I can’t think why Labour would support it after it delivered them a “leader” who in many ways is more inadequate than Brown was.

  • David Ossitt

    Edward McLaughlin

    “must already have caused in many people, republican sentiments upon which they would hitherto have frowned”

    You wish!

  • Boudicca

    On the other hand, it may instead inspire all those British people who would like the UK to become an Independent nation again to join the only Party which will give them a Referendum on the EU….. UKIP.

    The Conservative Party is no longer conservative. UKIP is the new Conservative.

  • Ultimo Tiger

    Toryism has a future in this country if someone steps forth who can inspire the British people to embrace it rather than all these silly post 20th century still “modern” ideologies.

    If only Enoch was still around.

    As for Republicanism, meh. It won’t happen soon methinks. Even if it did, us Monarchists won’t go quietly (nor should we since it would be a gross urination on part of what was or should be our cultural identity).

  • Robert Eve

    Wedding or no wedding – I shall vote NO2AV.


    “David Cameron’s and Steve Hilton’s failure to eradicate Toryism….” Ah well, at least one Speccie hack faces up to and puts in print what they’re up to. Congratulations and well done David. Just hope you’ve got another job lined up.

  • AlanL

    The NO camp, which I support, have a taller hill to climb. It is always harder to enthuse people to go out and vote for the status quo.

    The timing of the wedding will not change that.

  • Edward McLaughlin

    This wedding and the facile twattery which is pinning the generation of so much national well-being on it, must already have caused in many people, republican sentiments upon which they would hitherto have frowned.

  • Alastair

    Toryism is antiquated, the Conservative party is not. Monarchy may be ‘traditional’, but like it or not is an anachronism that can has little modern justification.

    A modernised Conservative party, not based on aristocratic or anachonistic values has a plentiful future, especially in a more proportional voting system as is the case in Europe.

    Oh, and for clarities sake, AV is semi-proportional not fully proportional.

  • Rob

    AV isn’t proportional, and in the current circumstances is probably less proportional than FPTP.